About the Book
Book: The Blue Cloak
Author: Shannon McNear
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2020
Evil Incarnate Leaves a Trail of Destruction across the Frontier
Book 5 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence in 1797 at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend Sally Rice’s wedding only to watch the marriage dissolve into horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin Micajah become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims.
How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?
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About the Author
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.
The Blue Cloak
by Shannon McNear
Part of True Colors – Historical Stories of American Crime
It’s always interesting to me to go from reading about vampires and werewolves to historical fiction to regency and back again. I love how books open new worlds but also allow you to explore the past. The Blue Cloak is an unbelievable story that was difficult to put down. The research that went into this story is incredibly well done and the reader is transported back in time.
Rachel Taylor has lived a sheltered life on the frontier but after her recently married friend Sally leaves town suddenly, everything changes. Rachel moves to live with her brother and sister-in-law to help out since they just had a baby. It’s there that she meets lawyer Benjamin Langford who was planning to meet up with his cousin. When they learn that his cousin was murdered and who the suspects are, Rachel is surprised to find that her friend Sally is among the accused. Determined to help and rescue her friend, Rachel enlists Ben’s help to see justice for his cousin while still defending Sally’s innocence.
Shannon McNear is a very talented author who can get you to laugh and cry and root for a hero. At the end of the book, she recounts her thoughts on what to include and what not to include. Warning: there may be some triggers in this book regarding a baby. The author struggled with including violent events but I think she did a good job of balancing it all. I can’t imagine being in her shoes and having to discern what should be included. And through it all, there is a thread of faith and endurance. The characters must learn to trust God and pray for His help. Based on real events and people, the author sets her story in this uncertain, wild and untamed time on the frontier.
I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction with some romance.
My thanks to the publisher, CelebrateLit, and NetGalley for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.
More from Shannon
How dark is too dark for a Christian to write?
That was the question I wrestled with when deciding whether or not to take on the story of the Harpes. The histories in Scripture itself aren’t rated G, but writing fiction requires a level of detail and depth of emotion I wasn’t sure would be wise, or helpful, to explore in this case. But as I prayed and sought the counsel of those whose discernment I trust, the answer came back, overwhelmingly …
Is God stronger than the darkness, or not?
Well, of course He is. And nothing in human history has ever escaped His notice, or taken Him by surprise.
So, was there something redeeming to be found in the tale of the Harpes?
For the first few weeks of research, I walked around in a state of shock at the horror of the historical accounts, but details surfaced that helped me shape my fictional characters Rachel and Ben. With Rachel working in her family’s trading post near the wild frontier town of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ben a lawyer who recently passed the bar, the real-life Hugh Lawson White provided a handy connection point between them. Many other details fell together in ways I had not foreseen when I began developing the story. Sally Rice Harpe, however, rose to the forefront. This was more her story than anyone’s, but realizing I couldn’t properly write the book without using her point of view? That was scary. I knew the moments I’d have to visit, some of them in real-time.
Despite the tragedy, however, I could see an overarching story of spiritual warfare. Felt a growing conviction that prayer must have played a vital role in bringing the Harpes’ reign of terror to an end. So it is my hope that against the backdrop of one of the most chilling episodes of our country’s early history, the hand of God shows clearly, and that yes, the reader finds it redemptive.
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To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Blue Cloak and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.